Bobby Freeman (born June 13, 1940) is an African-American soul singer and songwriter from San Francisco, California. He is best known for his two Top Ten hits, the first in 1958 on Josie Records called “Do You Want To Dance?” and the second in 1964 for Autumn Records label, “C’mon and Swim”.

“Do You Want To Dance?” was covered later (as “Do You Wanna Dance”) by Del Shannon, The Beach Boys, Johnny Rivers, Bette Midler, John Lennon, Cliff Richard, The Mamas & The Papas and the Ramones. “C’mon and Swim” was writtenand produced by 20 year-old Sylvester Stewart, later known as Sly Stone.

Freeman began his recording career at age 14 with the Romancers, who recorded briefly on the Dootone label. At age 17, he scored a hit with “Do You Want To Dance?” and appeared on the pop charts with various follow-ups through 1961. In 1964, he was back in the Top Ten with the dance-craze hit “C’mon and Swim”, which reached Number 5. The craze had cooled by the time he released his even more energetic, exciting follow-up “S-W-I-M” which failed to sell as well (#56), but he continued to tour widely over the next few years.

In 1964, Bobby Freeman played nightly at the Condor Night Club in San Francisco where Carol Doda performed her topless Go-Go dancing shows. Mainly supporting himself as a singer in clubs by the late 1960s, he released another single in 1974 on Touch Records, but it met with little commercial success. He has performed at the Bay Area Music (“Bammy”) Awards in recent years.

Bobby Freeman

  • Born: June 13, 1940 (age 73)
  • Origin: San Francisco, California United States
  • Genres: Soul Music, R&B, Pop
  • Occupations: Singer, Songwriter, Record Producer
  • Instruments: Vocals, Piano, Keyboards
  • Years Active: 1958 – Present
  • Labels: Autumn Records

Notable singles

  • 1958 “Do You Want To Dance?” (#5 Pop, #2 R&B)
  • 1958 “Betty Lou Got a New Pair of Shoes” (#37 Pop, #20 R&B)
  • 1958 “Need Your Love” (#54 Pop, #29 R&B)
  • 1959 “Mary Ann Thomas” (#90 Pop)
  • 1959 “Ebb Tide” (#93 Pop)
  • 1960 “(I Do the) Shimmy Shimmy” (#37 Pop)
  • 1961 “The Mess Around” (#89 Pop)
  • 1964 “C’mon and Swim” (#5 Pop)
  • 1964 “S-W-I-M” (#56 Pop)
  • 1974 “Everything’s Love” (Uncharted)

Albums

  • 1958 Do You Wanna Dance (Jubilee)
  • 1959 Get in the Swim (Josie)
  • 1960 Lovable Style of Bobby Freeman (King Records)
  • 1964 C’mon and Swim (Autumn)